Archive for the ‘traffic lawyer’ Category
July 7th, 2016 at 9:00 am
Illinois drivers are required to respect and protect emergency workers while driving on roadways. This means acknowledging and respecting an emergency vehicle’s need to get somewhere much faster than your average driver and getting out of the way so that emergency vehicles and personnel can get to where they need to go as quickly as possible. It also means moving over on the highway to give a stationary emergency vehicle as much room as possible.
Codified at 625 ILCS 5/11-907, the law that protects emergency vehicles and emergency personnel is referred to as Scott’s Law, after Scott Gillen, a Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant who was killed by a passing motorist while trying to do his job. The law is necessary because emergency workers face many dangers when responding to accidents and trying to save lives.
Getting To An Emergency
Other drivers on the road are supposed to get out of the way for an emergency vehicle that is using its flashing lights and/or its audio signal. Drivers are supposed to pull over and move out of the way so that an emergency vehicle has a path to maneuver through traffic. A driver that does not get over reasonably can be reported by the emergency vehicle, and the driver could end up with a ticket.
It is possible that the driver was unable to get out of the way quickly, or that it would have been unsafe for the driver to yield the right of way to the emergency vehicle. Perhaps a mechanical failure caused the driver’s car to stall out, and the driver was unable to get out of the way. There may be reasonable defenses for not having yielded to the emergency vehicle, and these reasons or defenses should be raised when fighting the ticket.
Responding To An Emergency
Under Scott’s Law, drivers are also supposed to attempt to get over as far as possible when passing a stationary emergency vehicle on the side of the road. This is to protect the emergency responders. Whether the emergency vehicle is an ambulance, fire truck or police vehicle, when and if possible, other drivers should get over as far as safely possible.
A driver could be issued a ticket if, for example, the driver approached a police vehicle that was stationary on the right-hand side of the road, and remained in the right-hand lane, although there was plenty of room for the driver to move to the left-hand lane safely while passing the stationary officer vehicle. Law enforcement officers take the safety of other officers and emergency workers very seriously and will issue you a ticket if you do not move over for stationary emergency vehicles.
Let Us Help With Your Ticket
Any traffic ticket can be challenged, even tickets issued for a violation of Scott’s Law. If you have been cited for a traffic violation, you should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer as soon as possible after receiving your ticket to help protect your rights.
June 8th, 2016 at 11:08 am
A police officer simply cannot stop you in Illinois on the grounds of drunk driving. Rather, law enforcement is not permitted to make a traffic stop without a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver has violated a traffic law, i.e., a reasonable suspicion that a law was broken. Stopping a driver for anything short of a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver has violated a traffic law would be an illegal seizure of the driver, which is a violation of the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights. Many people who are facing a DUI may be facing charges that are based on no actual violation of a traffic law. When there is no evidence of a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver broke the law, it means that the traffic stop was illegal.
How Do DUI Charges Come About?
Once a legal traffic stop has been made, a police officer can then witness evidence or facts that could lead the officer to believe that the driver was recently drinking alcohol, at which point a police officer can make allegations that the driver is driving while under the influence. Police can make a DUI arrest when they have a probable cause to believe that the driver broke the law. However, that is not to say that a driver may have engaged in activity while behind the wheel that made police suspicious as to whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol. There is a line between violating a traffic law and conducting oneself in a legal fashion, and sometimes police make mistakes about where that line is drawn.
By way of a few examples, swerving within your own lane of traffic is not an illegal act. You might have been avoiding a pothole or other hazard in the road, weather conditions, such as a strong wind, might push your vehicle within your lane of traffic, or you might not have been paying close attention to your driving momentarily. However, as long as you stay in your own lane, you have not broken any traffic laws. Conversely, if you swerve between lanes of traffic in a dangerous or reckless way, or across a double yellow line into oncoming traffic, then you have committed a traffic violation and police can make a traffic stop.
Other reasons to make a traffic stop include:
- Speeding violations;
- Failing to comply with traffic signs and signals;
- Driver or passenger is not wearing a seat belt; and
- Equipment violations, such as a broken tail light.
Let Us Assist You Today
Police must have a reason for pulling a driver over to do an investigatory traffic stop. If other facts present themselves to the officer that lead the officer to believe that the driver is driving while under the influence, then the officer can make a DUI arrest. If you are facing DUI charges, do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney for professional assistance with your case.
September 9th, 2014 at 7:44 am
Almost every driver will tell you that receiving a ticket for a driving infraction is a hassle. According to a recent article published online though, many Illinois motorists may have more to complain about than the average driver. The article reported that potentially thousands of Chicago drivers may have been issued undeserved tickets in connection with red light cameras used within the city. Apparently there has been a series of sudden spikes in such traffic citations that city officials have been unable to explain.
The Tribune conducted an investigation into the over four million tickets issued to drivers since 2007. They found that deviations in the city’s network of 380 red light cameras were caused by both faulty equipment and human adjustment. Many of the spikes in ticketing reportedly lasted weeks, despite the fact that ticketing patterns were supposed to be monitored every day. Transportation officials in Chicago claimed they had no knowledge of such significant deviations associated with ticketing and the equipment. Now, questions are being raised about the traffic enforcement program in Chicago. A federal corruption probe is allegedly underway. To be clear, the true cause of the influx in tickets has not yet been determined. Potential sources being suggested include everything from corruption and bribery, to technological issues and malfunctions, to something that was purely an oversight and accidental.
No matter the cause of the erroneous tickets, one other issue undoubtedly needs to be addressed: refunding the drivers who were unjustly fined. The investigation identified questionable tickets that reached the tens of thousands. Some cameras that averaged just one ticket per day were found to have spiked up to 56 per day over a two-week period, before returning to normal. Other cameras were found to have issued over 500 tickets in 12 days for an infraction that should have represented a significant change in enforcement; this same type of infraction generated only a dozen tickets over a six-month period previously.
While the normal percentage of drivers who are successful in challenging red light tickets in Chicago hovers at about 10 percent, drivers who were ticketed during spikes have been successful in their challenges as often as 45 percent of the time. This could suggest that many cases where drivers were ticketed during spikes were bad cases or weak to begin with.
The sudden increase in tickets, whether due to a change in ticketing procedure or a system malfunction, is undermining the goal of fair and consistent traffic enforcement. Experts seem to agree that one remedial measure should be for the city to consider refunding drivers who were ticketed unfairly. Others went so far as to say there is an ethical obligation to do so, including those cases where drivers may have deserved the tickets due to a clear violation of the law.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been issued a traffic citation in the city of Chicago or the surrounding area, the Illinois defense attorneys at the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in our Rolling Meadows office.
August 5th, 2014 at 7:00 am
Police can use any number of possible violations as a reason to pull over a vehicle, from an expired registration or broken tail light to erratic driving or speeding. Sometimes, these actions alone constitute violations of an applicable traffic safety law. Other times, law enforcement may use these violations as a pretext to stop a vehicle and determine if another crime has been or is being committed. It is important for citizens to be aware of their rights when being pulled over by a police officer. Read on for advice on what to do if you are pulled over by law enforcement.
If you see an officer attempting to pull you over, drive your car to the nearest safe spot on the side of the road. It is likely in your best interest to be as polite and courteous to the officer as possible at this point. Show you are willing to cooperate by rolling down your window and placing your hands on your steering wheel. Cooperate with any requests to see your driver’s license and registration.
It is important to remain in your vehicle unless the officer asks you to exit it. The officer is within his rights to ask you or your passengers to exit the car and stand on the side of the road, but you should not do so unless it is requested of you. While you should maintain a respectful demeanor in communicating with the officer, avoid sharing too much information or making admissions in the course of the conversation. Brief, straightforward answers are advised, as the officer may attempt to use anything you say against you later in court.
Search of Your Vehicle
There are certain circumstances under which an officer is permitted to further search you or your vehicle in connection with a traffic stop. One such circumstance includes a situation in which the officer reasonably suspects his or her safety to be compromised. In this scenario, an officer may be legally permitted to perform a pat-down of the vehicle’s driver. In addition, any clearly illegal object that are easily viewed by the officer upon the traffic stop may be seized. This may include empty beer or wine bottles, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia. If these objects are enough to constitute a criminal arrest, the officer may pat you down after placing you in custody to ensure there are no weapons or other items that can compromise officer safety.
Performing further searches of the vehicle, its contents, or any of the passengers in it usually requires probable cause, a higher standard that involves officers having a more definite justification that a vehicle’s occupants are involved in criminal activity. Police officers, too, can perform a more thorough search of a vehicle if given permission by the driver or possibly in connection with the driver’s arrest.
Criminal Defense Attorney
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have experience defending clients who have been charged with traffic offenses in both Cook and DuPage County. Contact our Rolling Meadows traffic violations defense attorneys today to schedule a consultation.
May 7th, 2014 at 7:00 am
The beginning of 2014 brought a change in the speed limit posted on interstates in Illinois to 70 miles per hour from the previous limit of 65 miles per hour. In light of the increased speed limit applicable to roadways across the state of Illinois, a news outlet recently reported that extra safety measures will also apply to Illinois construction zones, including reduce-speed signs and speed-indicator posted signs.
The Effect on Work-Zone Speeds
Studies indicate that on average, a car going 70 miles per hour needs 470 feet to come to a complete stop, while cars traveling at 65 miles per hour need just 405 feet to stop safely. Heavier cars, including trucks and semi-trailers, require even more distance. The safety measures for work zones, including the signs mentioned above, are used in areas where workers are present in an effort to get drivers to pay attention and slow down.
With the new speed limit in effect for just a few months, it is hard to determine what the effect the speed limit has had on work-zone speeds. The short time the change has been in effect is only one factor; this winter’s severe weather and the cool and rainy spring have pushed construction back significantly, making it difficult to measure the overall impact of the change in speed. It is worth noting that the Illinois Department of Transportation opposed the increased speed limit due to safety concerns.
Since 2003, fines have increased in Illinois for traffic citations, including speeding in a work zone, and crashing in a work zone causing injuries or fatalities. First time offenders of work-zone speeding will incur a fine of $375, with a $1000 fine for the second such offense, in addition to a possible license suspension for additional violations. Car accidents that result in work-zone deaths may involve felony criminal charges for reckless homicide.
Despite the increased speed limit, the posted speeds in work-zones are 55 miles per hour, and 45 miles per hour if workers are present. Photo-radar vans are one tool law enforcement uses across the state to ensure speed limits are followed in work-zones. The vans are capable of capturing images of both the driver of a vehicle and the vehicle’s license plate, record the vehicle’s speed, and post the time and date. There are signs to warn drivers that such vans are being used, and the vans are distinguishable by their markings. Troopers send tickets to offenders through certified mail.
Additional Safety Measures
The Illinois Department of Transportation continues to use electronic message boards to alert drivers of construction zones and traffic, and is exploring other ways to inform drivers of traffic patterns through technology. However, frontline flaggers remain as a basic early warning system to identify erratic drivers, get drivers’ attention, and warn of a backup in traffic or other events motorists should be aware of while approaching a work zone. The Department plans on exploring other safety measures and making changes as necessary when the effects of the higher speed limit can be more accurately measured.
If you have been charged with a traffic offense…
It is advisable to contact an attorney experienced in traffic ticket cases. Contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley in Rolling Meadows today for a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients charged with traffic offenses ranging from speeding tickets to accident related fatalities.
December 22nd, 2013 at 8:24 am
Over the last few years, there has been a decrease in the number of speeding tickets issued in and around Chicago. Based on data from 2010 to 2012, there was a quarter fewer tickets both in the city and in segments of the surrounding counties.
There are a couple of possible reasons for this decrease. An analysis completed by reporters from the Chicago Tribune has shown that the state police department is very lenient on the state’s expressways. Most tickets are written when a motorist is going at least 20 miles over the posted speed limit of 55. Provided that high threshold, it is not likely to find people to give speeding tickets.
Another reason for the decrease in speeding tickets is state-wide budget cuts. There are fewer troopers on the road which means there are fewer people to give out tickets.
Illinois State Police Commander Patrick Murphy, who is in charge of training troopers, has his own theories. He said that there are fewer drivers on the road. In fact, from 2007 to 2011 there was a near 4 percent decrease in miles driven by vehicles in Illinois. There was also an almost 2 percent decrease in the number of registered vehicles on the road.
Murphy also said that the fines for speeding have increased so much that drivers are taking notice. The current fee for speeding up to 20 miles over the speed limit is $120. If a driver is caught driving between 20 to 30 miles over the limit, the fee increases to $140. Over that speed and drivers can face fees of $160. In 2014, those fees are set to increase although the penalties are yet to be settled.
Although the amount of tickets has decreased over the years, that doesn’t mean that it is safe to speed. Law enforcement agencies are looking at other ways to police highways. They are using air details that hover over traffic and communicate vehicle speed and license plate numbers to local squad cars. Parked vans are also placed on roads to catch speeders and mail tickets to their homes.
Speeding tickets are very serious. If you have more than three moving violations during a year, then you can have your license suspended. If you have been accused of a crime, then seek legal assistance. Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Cook County today.
October 19th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
If you’re pulled over in Illinois and the officer has reason to believe that you may be under the influence of alcohol, he or she can ask you to complete a field sobriety test. Depending on the results of that test, the officer may request that you complete a chemical test to verify your blood alcohol content (BAC). Knowing what you are required to do in these circumstances can make a big difference in whether you lose driving privileges or not. If you have been arrested for DUI, your first step should be to contact your Illinois criminal law attorney for advice.
In Illinois, failing a chemical test or refusing to submit to chemical testing might lead to statutory summary suspension or revocation. It’s important to note that these rules apply to Illinois drivers pulled over for DUI in other states, too. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, immediate penalties will apply. However, if you contact a DUI attorney immediately, you can fight a license suspension.
For the first occasion in which you refuse to submit to chemical testing, your driving privileges will be suspended for 12 months. On the 31st day of that suspension, you might become eligible for driving relief, which involves a monitoring device driving permit and the installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device. For a second offense, driving privileges can be suspended for three years with no opportunity for driving relief.
In the heat of the moment as you’re pulled over for suspected DUI, it can be frustrating for an officer to demand that you submit to a test. If you are arrested for DUI following the incident, you should hire a Chicago DUI lawyer to manage your case. Don’t risk statutory summary suspension by refusing to submit to the chemical tests.
September 30th, 2013 at 6:48 pm
The wife of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler picked up a speeding ticket on a recent trip from Evanston to Chicago. Since she was driving without an Illinois driver’s license, she was required to visit the Evanston police headquarters to post a $150 bond. Cavallari was surprised that she was required to visit the police station to post a bond, but it brings to light a common procedure for individuals with certain out of state licenses who are pulled over traffic violations.
According to the Evanston police, this is normal for individuals with certain state drivers licenses. Unfortunately, California and several other states do not participate in a cooperative agreement between states about licensing. Although many people are not aware of this, it does indeed come with a $120 fine, which can be deducted from posted bond. This amount could also be increased as a result of court costs.
Any individuals moving from another state to Illinois are required to update their driver’s license within 30 days. Failure to recognize the importance of this rule could lead to an unpleasant surprise for someone being pulled over by police.
The Illinois DMV sets the guidelines for driving with an out of state license at a maximum of 90 days after the move, but the 30-day rule relates to the date on which you establish residency in the state. Some examples of establishing residency in the state include renting a place to live, obtaining a job, initiating school in the state, or by purchasing a home with the intent to live there. If you have accidents on your record or you are over the age of 75, you will need to take the driving test in the state of Illinois. If you have been pulled over for speeding or another citation and you require legal assistance, reach out to an experienced Illinois criminal attorney today.
September 8th, 2013 at 10:59 am
Usually, if someone has a relatively clean driving record and they get a ticket, they have the opportunity to have the points removed from their license. When those points cannot be removed, however, they can add up quickly because they are on your record for at least two years. Once you get too many points, you may lose your license for an extended period.
If you are unsure whether your license has been suspended, it is important to find out; driving with a suspended license can have stiff penalties. To view your driving record, which will inform you of the state of your license, you can contact your Secretary of State’s office.
The Secretary of State can give you a copy of your driving record online, in person or by mail. If you request one in person or by mail, you must provide your full name, driver’s license number, your date of birth and a $12 processing fee.
A question that many people have when their license is suspended is whether or not it is suspended in all states. The National Driver Register keeps records of suspended and revoked drivers’ licenses so that those drivers cannot get licenses in another state. The Driver’s License Compact also keeps tabs on drivers nationally. The Driver License Compact keeps track of all driving penalties while drivers are in states other than their home state.
Of course, the best way to avoid all of this is to keep your driving record clean whether you are in your home state or somewhere else, even if you have never had any infractions on your record thus far.
If you are ticketed or pulled over for something more than a traffic violation, like drinking and driving, contact a criminal attorney to help you out of those very dangerous points. Attorney Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Ill. can help you keep your driving record clean today.
December 27th, 2012 at 5:09 am
With the increased use of social media and smart phones, the Illinois Toll Way has decided to create a Twitter account. The toll way tweets to provide drivers with information for each of the four toll ways: the Tri-State, Jane Adams Memorial, Reagan Memorial, and Veterans Memorial toll ways.
Travelers now have to option to follow each of the toll ways on Twitter and can receive real-time roadway incident information, according to the Illinois Toll Way.
The Illinois Toll Way Executive Director Kristi Lafleur shared in a news release, “Toll Way Trip Tweets will help us connect to our customers in a new way and, hopefully, give them the information they need to be able to plan their trips based on what’s happening on the road.”
The tweets include updates such as information on roadway conditions, accident reports as they happen, and updates on congestion, according to the toll way.
Details in the tweets may include real-time information about the type of incident, the location based on the nearest crossroad and milepost and the subsequent impact on traffic, such as lane closures, said the Illinois Toll Way. It was reported that as many as three messages may be sent using Twitter for each incident. The final tweet will be the conclusion and clearing of the incident from the roadway.
Toll Way Trip Tweets are issued automatically from the agency’s Traffic Operations Center, Traffic and Incident Management System, which is staffed from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.
To follow Toll Way Trip Tweets, you can visit the Too Way’s website and click the Toll Way Trip Tweets “Follow Us” button. Or, visit www.twitter.com to set up an account, and then follow: TollwayTrip90, TollwayTrip94/294, TollwayTrip88, and TollwayTrip355
Even with many extra precautions being taken this season to keep drivers safe, there will still be accidents. If you find yourself at fault of a traffic violation this season, contact a traffic law attorney for help today. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help you today.